On a sunny Friday in November 2017, we get up early to take photos in the beautiful landscape of the Ebro delta and then continue to Tortosa on the Ebro. This is another excursion that we go for, while enjoying the small apartment of our friends in Hospitalet de l’Infant at the end of October until mid November 2016.
The morning light in the Ebro Delta
In November the rice fields have been harvested awaiting the next cultivation cycle. We enjoy taking photos in the atmosphere of this morning.
Ursula has a very good “photo eye”, when capturing the fields…
… and the black egrets reflecting in them.
Then the birds decide, we are too close and fly away.
We have a chat with a fisher – he comes here regularly from Andorra. And yes, I do understand that driving is forbidden here…
In Deltebre we visit the Ecomuseum. This place is a miniature Ebro Delta showing its plants and wild life as well as the economy: Fishing, the cultivation of rice and – more inland – the cultivation of vegetables and fruit.
Tortosa – Basilica-Catedral de Santa Maria
In summer we had visited Tortosa, and it was pouring with rain. The town seemed grey and not very welcoming and the cathedral was closed. Now we return, leave our car in one of these narrow Catalonian parking houses in the city center and set out to explore the Basilica-Catedral de Santa Maria with the bishop’s palace and the convent. The gothic construction started in 1347 (Thomas Schröder: “Katalonien”, Michael Müller Verlag 2015). From outside, the cathedral seems “uncompleted”: The roof is flat.
The nave is spacious with high vaults – just right for the archbishop in the 15th century.
The exhibition shows treasures such as this lamb embroidered in gold…
… or this funerary object.
I love the cloister dating from the 13th century…
… and use this photo of the arches for my 2016 Christmas card.
Tortosa – Jewish center
After a break in a small bar that serves excellent tapas, we stroll through the former Jewish quarter.
All that is left are the street names (such Carrer and Travesa de Jerusalem) and some plates explaining where the synagogue and the kosher butcher were located.
Now we find a halal butcher instead.
Tortosa – history in the former slaughterhouse
The slaughterhouse has been built by Pau Monguió. This art-nouveau building now hosts an exhibition of the history of Catalonia. The display starts with the stone age, continues with the Iberians trading with the Phoenicians (“Iberians” comes from “Ebro”) , the Romans (Tortosa was then called “Dertosa”), the Visigots and the Moors. In 1148 Tortosa was sieged during the Second Crusade and reconquered by an allied army. In the 15th century, Tortosa became an important regional center and the seat of the archbishop. It lost its importance in the 19th century and particulary suffered from bombings in the civil war of 1936-1939.
I particularly like the coat of arms of the monastery Scala Dei near Montsant made from alabaster – it represents the Escala Dei or the ladder of God.
After a short visit in the Tortosa market, we maneuver our car out of the narrow, narrow parking house and drive back to our small apartment in Hospitalet de l’Infant.